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Andriy Shevchenko's Perfect XI: 'Creative maestro' Kaka and 'exceptionally dangerous' John Terry

Gianluigi Buffon
An exceptional keeper with incredible reactions. I won the penalty duel against him in the 2003 Champions League Final but Buffon saved far more of my shots than I scored past him.


A warrior on the field and a sincere, kind man off it. Strong and powerful, his runs from defence led to numerous goals at AC Milan and his jokes helped to ease the pressure during training and in matches.

John Terry

A resolute defender and a natural leader, he can calm the panicky behaviour of players. His trademarks are anticipation and judgment. He's also exceptionally dangerous from attacking corners.

Alessandro Nesta

I've never seen a better reader of the game. A supremely intelligent and pacy defender, he made a great contribution in AC Milan's efforts to keep Juventus at bay in the 2003 Champions League Final.

Paolo Maldini

The most gifted and hard-working player I've ever seen. He was an excellent all-round footballer with true leadership virtues and the rare ability to be reliable in defence and creative in attack.

Right midfield

A creative maestro who dictates the pace of the game. It was a real pleasure to be in the same side as he supplied me with incredibly precise passes. I scored a lot thanks to his clever deliveries.

Steven Gerrard

A world-class midfielder, Gerrard loves to lead by example and is famous for his never-say-die attitude. He loves to run at and beat defenders, and is blessed with a powerful and precise shot.

Zinedine Zidane

He could do magical things using his vision, technique and powerful shot. During games it was impossible to predict his next move. Off the pitch, he was a kind and generous man. 

Lionel Messi

It's difficult to find another player who can dribble and score like Messi. He is the attacking player of the 21st century. I can't even specify his position. He's everywhere, making fools of defenders.


Skilful, powerful and takes chances like a machine. His strike-rate for every team he's played for tells you everything. I can only imagine what he could have done in football if not for his injuries.

Wayne Rooney

No player in modern football can match his efficiency and work-rate, and he's not egotistical like many men of his speciality. He's the sort of magnificent team player every coach wants in his starting XI. 


Petr Cech
I have great respect for Cech, who stayed in football despite a terrible injury.

Carles Puyol
A superb defender who makes the complete sacrifice for his team.

Michael Ballack
A utility man of great talent and determination in midfield.

Frank Lampard
My former Chelsea team-mate can start and finish a team's attacks.

Andrea Pirlo
A clever, generous midfielder who can pass over any distance.

Ryan Giggs
Mr Gentleman of modern football: wise and creative, with wonderful individual skills.

Cristiano Ronaldo
He adds to his tricks with tactical wisdom, work-rate and ball control.

Interview: Jonathan Wilson. From the October 2010 issue of FourFourTwo. Subscribe!

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